Saturday, April 19, 2008

Story 49 – Story of Vishwaroopa Pradarshanam - 03

Seeing Akrura, the Lord embraced him and took him to a state of bliss. He then led Akrura to his house, holding him by hand.


Our entire life is seeking one and only one thing in the entire world – bliss. It is this bliss that we constantly seek in the external world – in things, in people. But the only thing that we get out of the world is sorrow which might come late but it still finds us. It is for this reason that the Lord terms the world as “anityam asukham lokam” (temporary and sorrowful). But the Lord doesn’t stop by terming the world as sorrowful; he also gives the direct way out of this sorrow as “imam praapya bhajasva maam” (having attained the temporary and sorrowful world, take refuge in me).

It is this pure devotion towards the Lord and becoming a real devotee of the Lord that will give us eternal bliss. The moment Akrura showed pure devotion towards the Lord, that moment itself the Lord took him to a state of bliss. This bliss might not be eternal bliss which we will always experience after realization but if this bliss itself can take us to a different plane (which is untainted by sorrow), then what to speak about ever residing in the blissful state.

We don’t need to spend a lot of money or time; we don’t need to go to various sacred shrines; we don’t need to do sadhana like meditation for a continuous period of time; the only thing we need to do in order to get this bliss is be a pure devotee of the Lord. We saw in the previous day as to how we can very easily become a pure devotee of the Lord – this doesn’t even require knowledge of the scriptures; we just need to remember that the Lord is pervading the illusory world of names and forms thereby having total and unconditional surrender unto him. This is the only thing required from our side in order to get the eternal bliss which is the very nature of the Lord. We would go to any extent in order to get into the United States, into IIM, getting a partner, getting children etc. but we put restrictions when it comes to spirituality. We will term Vedanta and spirituality as “old fashion” and for “old people” but when the old age comes we will still be yearning for worldly pleasures not even giving spirituality a thought.

It might be tough if we were told to learn the Brahma Sutras along with the various commentaries on the same in Sanskrit. It might be tough if we were told to daily sing bhajans like Anup Jalota. But what the Lord is asking from us is just our full attention towards him. Even as a mother gives her full attention to the child, even as a lover gives full attention to his love and even as a professional gives full attention to his job, we just need to give our full attention to the Lord. What we get in return from this total and unconditional surrender unto the Lord remembering him to pervade the entire world whatever we be doing for the moment is eternal bliss.

We may think that we could get to eternal bliss through a short cut like meeting Kanchi or Sringeri acharya once a week; by meeting AMMA once a month; by being in contact with Sri Sri Ravishankar; by going to Puttaparthi and doing seva; but none of this is going to give us eternal bliss. All these activities only help in purification of the mind but not gaining the goal. The goal of bliss can be achieved only when we completely surrender unto the Lord knowing him to be the reality behind the illusory world. This is the one and only way to eternal bliss. If somebody claims that he or she can give you bliss if you follow him or her, then we can outright reject the person because moksha or bliss can be achieved only through complete surrender to the reality of Lord who alone is present here. This is the only way to realization and to get beyond all bondages, sorrows and sufferings thereby ever rejoicing in bliss.

Akrura was bold enough to surrender completely unto the Lord even after knowing that he was being made a pawn by Kamsa in order to try kill the Lord; neither this nor the thought that he was detrimental in giving Kamsa a chance to kill the Lord made Akrura stay away from the truth (here in the form of visiting and gaining contact with the Lord). If we are able to always remember and surrender unto the Lord with the knowledge that the entire world is but an illusion of names and forms in the Lord, then we will also be able to rejoice in bliss like Akrura.

Let us all try to become real devotees of the Lord so that we may rejoice in bliss – that bliss which is what we all are trying to get in each and every moment of our life.

After enquiring about the welfare and resting, Akrura informed everyone the reason for his coming to Gokula. Hearing that Krishna will be leaving them, the gopikas started crying. They started crying more remembering the Raasa leela played with the Lord. Next day morning Akrura started in the chariot along with Krishna and Balarama. Nandagopa and others followed the chariot carrying materials to be given to the King. Krishna consoled the gopikas by sending his followers and giving words of consolation to the gopikas.


We may find times in our spiritual path when everything will be against us; we should remember that whatever be the time (whether good or bad or worse) the Lord will always be there to protect us as long as we have real devotion towards him. It is this aspect that the Lord portrays here through consolation given to the gopikas.

Even though we may be really devoted to the Lord and doing activities which doesn’t harm or hurt others, yet we may face hardships in the path. During those times we shouldn’t let ourselves turn away from the Lord by doubting him and his protective nature. It is fine to cry to our hearts during those times as we will be unable to hold on but we should never doubt or get away from the Lord.

When a child is starting to walk, the mother will start walking with the child. Instead of catching hold of the child’s hand, the mother might let the child fall down a few times. Just because the mother has let the child fall down doesn’t mean that the mother is not protecting or taking care of the child. It is for the child’s well-being that the mother is doing such activities. If the child considers this as the mother’s lack-of-interest, then the child alone will the loser.

If this applies to a very simple activity of “walking” then how can we judge the activities of the all-knowing Lord? The mother’s intellect and way of thinking is limited whereas the Lord’s intellect and way of thinking is beyond our apprehension. Hence not even once should be doubt the Lord in terms of protecting us and showing us the path.

Many things are learnt the hard way – moreover things learnt in the hard way will never be forgotten whereas things learnt very easily are often forgotten. The saying goes as “mysterious are the ways of God”. We are not capable of even choosing small-small things in life like marriage, children and occupation etc. A person learns Marine Engineering for many years finally regretting his own decision. Similarly we spent months thinking about whether we should get married to a person; we get married and finally end up in divorce or heated arguments all the time. Since we are not even able to analyze correctly worldly activities, we definitely are not capable of analyzing the spiritual meaning of each and every activity in our life.

We depend on many people and things in the world. Once when Amritasvaroopananda (AMMA’s senior disciple) was translating AMMA’s discourse by typing and reading from his laptop, the laptop got hung. Worldly things are like this – we often depend on them only to be disappointed. We go to any extent trying to support our family, our parents, our children, our friends, our partnersm our relatives and our possessions but we never offer such a dependency to the ultimate reality of Lord. We are so dumb that we depend on things which have given us sorrow again and again but cannot depend on the Lord who has given only bliss to whoever really seeks him. Thus instead of trying to blame or doubt or curse the Lord, we should persistently have devotion towards him so that we may succeed in the spiritual tests that the Lord sets in front of us.

We may think that just by meeting AMMA once a year or calling up Krishna’s name once a day we will be protected. This is not the case. If the Lord is unlimited, then his desire for our attention (love or devotion) is also unlimited. Anything less than perfection will not give us the real benefit of moksha or bliss. AMMA illustrates a beautiful story to denote that if our attention to the Lord is not complete, we will not only not reap the fruit of bliss but end up in more misery than normal. Once Yashoda was breast-feeding Krishna who was very hungry. But Yashoda had also kept some milk on the stove. It was time for the milk to get boiled – in order to save the milk from spilling out; Yashoda left poor Krishna on the floor. She was able to save the milk on the stove; but when she returned she found that butter in the entire house was spilled as Krishna was very hungry. Yashoda left Krishna hungry in order to save a few glasses of milk; she could save the milk but ended up losing much more than that in the form of butter in the entire house.

This illustrates that if our attention towards the Lord is lacking somewhere, we will only end up in more sorrows rather than being helped by the Lord. The Lord will help and protect us only if our devotion and surrender to him is total and complete. If we are able to achieve this total surrender unto the Lord, then he will always be there to help us from the obstacles in the spiritual path and will not rest until we realize our nature of blissful Lord.

Remembering AMMA’s beautiful illustration let us all try to have pure devotion towards the Lord so that he will be always there to protect us from the spiritual tests he himself puts us into thereby leading us to the state of bliss.

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